DCCC Chairman says Democratic Party will fight to keep Inslee's seat

Leaders of the Democratic Party vowed Saturday to retain Rep. Jay Inslee's seat in Congress in light of Inslee's announcement that he will resign to focus his efforts on winning the governor's seat in Washington.

Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, praised Inslee's service in Congress and said the party would work to elect a Democrat who will focus on job creation and protecting the middle class.

“Jay Inslee has been an extraordinary advocate for Washington state families on both sides of the Cascades and a national leader for creating jobs, strengthening Medicare, and building America’s clean energy future," Israel said. "He will make an excellent governor."

“As co-chairs and founders of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, I know firsthand his dedication to clean energy innovation, and to ensure we protect our clean air, water and natural environment," he added. "Nobody is more passionate about promoting innovative new technologies than Jay and his leadership in the House will be missed."

Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, has served the 1st District since 1999, and before that, represented the 4th District in Eastern Washington from 1993 to 1995. He lost his bid for re-election in 1994 in a rematch against Rep. Doc Hastings.

Israel thanked Inslee for his service and said the Democratic Party will work keep the District 1 seat in Democratic hands.

“We look forward to electing a Democrat in both the special and general elections in November who will create jobs, protect middle class families, and fight against the Republicans’ plan to end Medicare," Israel said.

Inslee said Saturday that he would resign from Congress, effective March 20, to concentrate on the governor's race.

He also made the announcement via Twitter and Facebook.

"Today I announced that I am stepping down from Congress and devoting myself full-time to my race for governor and to talking to voters throughout Washington about creating jobs and building a new economy for our state," Inslee said on his Facebook page.

"In the coming years, we have a chance to seize our own destiny, build our own industries, and create our own technological revolutions. And because that chance is so important to me, I am going to give everything I have to the cause of building a working Washington, and I am going to hold nothing back."

"The best is yet to come. Let’s go get 'em!" he wrote.

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